The Aquabats to Fight Evil Powers at Culture Room

Zany SoCal-bred ska punks the Aquabats first strapped on their power belts and anti-negativity helmets 16 years ago and set out to save the world. According to Aquabat folklore, the group washed up on the California shore after drifting from their native Aquabania, and many onstage battles with costumed rivals ensued. Over the years, countless crazy musicians have worn the signature radioactive rash guards, and taken on obligatory Aquabat superhero pseudonyms, and then moved on (including Blink-182's Travis Barker AKA the Baron von Tito).

Powdered Milk Man wasn't the group's only obstacle though. After gaining a devoted following in the late '90s, the band fell into relative obscurity following the release of its poorly received third record, the loss of band members, and the dissolution of the Goldenvoice record label.

In 2005, the band reemerged with a new record, Charge!, and supporting tour. That album employs synthesizer rather than horns to deliver the band's poppy weirdness — to the dismay of some old-school Aquacadets. For the past few years, a follow-up to Charge! has been in the works. In concert, the band still bounces around slaying villains and inspiring nerd-moshing among their costumed fans — from festival dates last spring to an opening slot for Blink-182 in the fall, and a 2010 East Coast tour currently under way.

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Travis Newbill